New Zealand and Switzerland sign deal to stop tax avoidance

12 Aug 19

New Zealand and Switzerland have made a deal they hope will make it harder for multinational companies to dodge paying tax.

Revenue minister of New Zealand Stuart Nash and Swiss ambassador David Vogelsanger signed the agreement to stop multinational tax avoidance on Thursday last week.

It updates the countries’ double tax agreement first made in 1980. The latest agreement will focus on preventing multinationals shifting profits from regions with higher taxes to lower-tax jurisdictions, know as base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS).  

Nash said: “Double tax agreements are good for business because they reduce barriers to trade and cross-border investment, eliminate double taxation and reduce withholding taxes.

“DTAs are also an extremely valuable tool to crack down on tax avoidance and tax evasion.

“They establish a formal means to exchange information between two countries.”

Work is also “progressing”, Nash said, on a protocol to an existing agreement between New Zealand and Guernsey that should be finished “in the near future”.

Nash said: “With the work we’ve already done and the steady ongoing work to update our DTAs, the anti-BEPS net is closing ever tighter. The opportunities to dodge tax are vanishing.”

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